2021 Australian Open Betting Preview: Grigor Dimitrov vs Marin Cilic

18th-seed Grigor Dimitrov and Marin Cilic face off in one of the most highly anticipated matches in the first round of the Australian Open, with two former Top 3 players looking to get off to a flying start at Melbourne Park.

The winner of their tie will face either Norbert Gombos of Slovakia or Australian wildcard Alex Bolt in the second round, while Kei Nishikori and 15-th seed Pablo Carreño Busta are among the possible opponents in the third round.

This will be their first meeting since unseeded Grigor Dimitrov fought back to prevail in five sets in the second round of the 2019 French Open, yet Cilic still holds a 4-2 lead in their head-to-head history.

Apart from the aforementioned five-setter at Roland Garros (their only Grand Slam duel), all of their previous meetings were on hard-courts and it seems that Marin Cilic feels relatively comfortable when he takes on the Bulgarian. However, the majority of these games were in years when Cilic was a constant threat and played in three Grand Slam finals between 2014 and 2018.

Grigor Dimitrov Betting Preview

Once tipped to become one of the top players of his generation, Dimitrov fails to meet the huge expectations on him and his charisma, yet he still has some years left to play on top level should he remain injury-free.

It has been officially confirmed that Dimitrov has a new coach – the 41-year-old Argentinian Dante Bottini, who previously worked with Kei Nishikori between 2010 and 2019, when the Japanese reached his only Grand Slam final – the defeat to Marin Cilic himself in the 2014 US Open final.

There were some encouraging signs that Grigor Dimitrov could possibly revive his career as he returned to the Top 20 but generally the 29-year-old Bulgarian failed to impress us in quite a few competitions.

The former No. 3 could be encouraged that Stan Wawrinka, for example, was in his late 20’s when he won his first Grand Slam title at the 2014 Australian Open and the Bulgarian, whose standout performance was winning the 2017 ATP Finals, will hope to finally to finally reach his first Grand Slam final.

Dimitrov was 2nd seed at the Murray River Open and starting from the second round, the Bulgarian reached the-quarter-finals where he lost 5-7, 2-6 to Corentin Moutet of France. However, he managed to claim back-to-back wins over the Aussies Andrew Harris and Alexei Popyrin, which secured him more match practice and a proper warm up ahead of the opening Grand Slam tournament of the year.

Furthermore, Grisho will want to return with a bang at Melbourne Park as the Bulgarian suffered a disappointing defeat to Tommy Paul of the United States in last year’s second round.

Marin Cilic Betting Preview

The 2018 finalist returns at Melbourne Park with a clear purpose to revive his career. The 32-years-old Croatian has never been eliminated in the first round of the Australian Open since his debut in 2007 but his downtrending over the past two years led to such a risk.

Cilic hasn’t been on top level during the past two seasons and after a titleless 2019, the 2014 US Open Champion has fallen out of the Top 20 and his struggles continued in 2020.

Currently No. 43, is not among the seeds at Australian Open for a second year in a row and that’s something that should motivate him even more on the eve of the tournament.

Last year, Cilic started the season at the Australian Open unseeded yet he beat France’s Corentin Moutet and 21st seed Benoit Paire in the opening two rounds, as well as 9th seed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain in the third round in an exhausting five-setter before he lost to Canadian 32nd seed Milos Raonic in straight sets.

It was his second consecutive fourth-round exit from the Australian Open and considering the current reality and the possible matches, the Croatian will probably be rather pleased than disappointed should he once again reach the same stage.

Like his Bulgarian counterpart, Cilic also participated in the Murray River Open but he left the competition too early – suffering a 6-2, 3-6, 6-7 defeat to Jeremy Chardy of France in the first round.

Spooky Express Betting Prediction

Grigor Dimitrov is a favorite to win at odds of -153, while you can bet on Marin Cilic at +133 with BetOnline.

However, the former US Open champion has all the weapons to challenge anyone and can always be a threat on hard courts, with his strong serve and forehand.

If there’s a Grand Slam where Dimitrov feels more confident, that has to be the Australian Open as the Bulgarian has already reached the quarterfinals three times over the years and he made it to the semi-finals in 2017.

This could be a tight match and we expect a real battle between Dimitrov and Cilic, who are both eager to unleash their potential.

Spooky Express Free Play: Over 41 Games -108 @ BetOnline for 6/10 Units

Latest posts